Good news, all you fans of condensed screen versions of self-indulgent Mormon vampire pseudo-erotic clit-tease fantasies: Twilight: New Moon is being released in only eight days. Rocks Off, accustomed to scorn from literary snobs for his steadfast support of the Harry Potter series, actually picked up the first Twilight novel in a Barnes & Noble once, fully expecting to like it. After the first six pages, however, we were disgusted enough with Bella's asinine, unlikable prattling to unceremoniously shove the book back onto the bookstore shelf, to be purchased by someone with considerably lower standards for their protagonists. The first movie was just as terrible, if not more so, and the sequel looks only slightly better (they've hired a cinematographer whose color palette extends beyond "grayish"). But here's the thing: the soundtrack is fucking terrific. Godawful movies wind up with amazing soundtracks more often than you might expect, and here are just a few examples.
The Doom Generation The script for the Doom Generation, if it even had one, would read like something an angry 13-year-old bisexual Goth kid would scrawl across his binder, subsequently leaving it somewhere his parents would find it, on purpose. It has all the things a good "fuck it all" movie is supposed to have; nihilism, sex, violence and a loud soundtrack. Unfortunately only the loud soundtrack is any good, since it has what the movie itself lacks: thematic coherence, logic and heart. Hell, you could probably make a better story arc if you attempted to tie the plots of all these songs together. A mélange of techno-industrial tunes from artists like Medicine, Curve, Meat Beat Manifesto, and the Jesus and Mary Chain, the soundtrack propels and provides an atmosphere the film sorely lacks.
Judgment Night Okay, we're not going to lie: we really do dig this movie. From Cuba Gooding Jr.'s trademark hammy acting to Denis Leary's surprisingly believable turn as a completely sinister gangster to one of the earliest, squirmiest Jeremy Piven performances, Judgment Night is a must-have for any kind of "Bad Movie Night" event you may be planning. Who would have thought a dopey action/suspense thriller would have wound up spawning an entire genre? Some studio genius got a bunch of gangsta rap acts together with a bunch of metal and alternative-rock acts and had the rock bands lay down the beats while the rappers rapped over it. Almost every single track on this album works phenomenally well. The talents involved take chances the movie wouldn't have dreamed of taking, giving birth to the entire nu-metal genre in the process. But hey, it's not their fault; it was a good enough genre, in the beginning. Although frankly, we would have preferred to have seen a different genre become popular, one pioneered by Del the Funky Homo Sapien & Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney & Sir-Mix-A-Lot - a genre we like to call "garage rap."
Death Proof We were really looking forward to Grindhouse. We liked Robert Rodriguez' entry Planet Terror well enough, and were excited when Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof fired up. Imagine our surprise, then, when we found ourselves sitting through a maddeningly slow, overly talky (even for Tarantino) movie in which all the heroines seemed more like parodies of Tarantino characters than characters he would create on purpose, and the bad guy - played by the usually reliable Kurt Russell - who was portrayed as a hardass unafraid to break a few bones to get his murder jollies for most of the film, suddenly cried and shrieked like an absolute bitch as soon as the girls managed to hurt him. Like all Tarantino soundtracks, however, this one is phenomenal, featuring Jack Nitzsche's cucumber-cool "The Last Race," T. Rex's bumpy, infectious "Jeepster" and a slew of other vintage tracks too good for this movie.
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Purple Rain It's time we accepted that Purple Rain is just not a very good movie. The acting is hokey, particularly from Prince's Pet Project (Who Prince Is Also Fucking) of the Month, Appollonia. The script makes almost no sense either, darting back and forth from Prince's triumphs and difficulties in a local Minneapolis rock venue - First Avenue, where Rocks Off's brother watched Lucinda Williams get married a few weeks back - to his relationship with his abusive father to his almost as abusive relationship with vapid, emotional twit Appollonia. The plot climaxes when Prince and Apollonia reach some sort of vague, unspoken understanding, and Prince's father becomes probably the only villain in non-comedy film history to survive a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. As silly as the movie is (although it's Casablanca compared to its execrable sequel, Graffiti Bridge), no one can deny that the soundtrack features Prince at his absolute peak, churning out radio-friendly pop-funk hit after hit like it's easier than breathing. Let us not forget, the man was like a magical singing sex leprechaun back in the '80s. Note: Prince won't allow any of his music to appear on YouTube, so instead of the video for "Let's Go Crazy," here is a video of Kevin Smith talking about Prince actually being crazy. Make sure you watch parts 2 and 3, as His Purpleness gets nuttier as the story progresses.
Freddy Got Fingered Once again, Rocks Off finds ourselves forced to admit that a movie we personally love is, in fact, blisteringly terrible. One of the most critically reviled films of the last 20 years, Tom Green's first and only feature film plays out like a drug-fueled hallucination from a juvenile sociopath, which, having been written and directed by Green, is pretty much what it is. The main character (played, of course, by Green) is probably the most deliberately irritating and unlikable protagonist ever put to film, and the plot takes his simple rebellion against his asshole of a father (gamely portrayed by Rip Torn) to such a twisted, exaggerated level that by the time the movie is over you're not sure it even had a plot at all. Some critics have suggested that the film's chief driving theme - Tom Green's character hurting and embarrassing himself and others - is a result of Green's own deep-seated self-loathing... which is probably why we like it so much. The soundtrack, appropriately, is largely angry, confrontational gutter-punk from the likes of Agent Orange, the Adolescents and the Dead Kennedys. There is also a Moby song, but only because every movie soundtrack released between 1999 and 2001 was contractually required to include Moby. Even so, the most disappointing thing about an otherwise fun, brash soundtrack is the unfortunate exclusion of the techno remix of "Daddy Would You Like Some Sausage?", which is what violent, screaming schizophrenia sounds like.